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  • Lease Alteration

    My wife and I signed a lease in Sept of 2012. We crossed off two items on the lease, initialed where we crossed them off and sent a PDF signed copy back to the leasing agent for the landlord. We were sent back the contract signed by the landlord and the changes we made were not on it. They replaced the two pages where we had alterations. Since they changed what we signed and did not have us resign, is this a legal document or can we use this to get out of the lease. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Lease Alteration

    Originally posted by Medcity2011 View Post
    My wife and I signed a lease in Sept of 2012. We crossed off two items on the lease, initialed where we crossed them off and sent a PDF signed copy back to the leasing agent for the landlord. We were sent back the contract signed by the landlord and the changes we made were not on it. They replaced the two pages where we had alterations. Since they changed what we signed and did not have us resign, is this a legal document or can we use this to get out of the lease. Thanks
    Probably not. Just as easily as you can claim that you changed and initialed those terms, the LL can claim no such changes ever were made and approved. That's the risk you take of not signing and exchanging actual paper lease documents.

    Unless the LLs signature appears on your executed copy that you physically have in your hands, you can assume that the LL didn't approve your modifications. That means you cannot rely upon those modifications or cancel out a lease on that basis.
    "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
    "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
    "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

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    • #3
      Re: Lease Alteration

      Would this still hold true if I have the email and PDF copy of the contract we signed and sent to the leasing agent and the returned copy has our exact signature, but the pages we made alterations were changed. Thanks

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      • #4
        Re: Lease Alteration

        You affirmed the contract by not objecting and paying the rent. The lease constituted an offer. You amended and counter-offered. They rejected and tendered the original offer. You accepted by not objecting and paying the rent at that point. If the lease has expired, you could be month to month tenants anyway by now.
        Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

        I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

        Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

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        • #5
          Re: Lease Alteration

          Originally posted by Medcity2011 View Post
          My wife and I signed a lease in Sept of 2012. We crossed off two items on the lease, initialed where we crossed them off and sent a PDF signed copy back to the leasing agent for the landlord. We were sent back the contract signed by the landlord and the changes we made were not on it. They replaced the two pages where we had alterations. Since they changed what we signed and did not have us resign, is this a legal document or can we use this to get out of the lease. Thanks
          Why you would wait a year to try to get out of the lease prejudices you at such a late date. While it can be shown by the two versions that there was no meeting of the minds as to the terms of the lease, by accepting the unaltered version and living there you by your actions accepted and ratified it.

          Look at your changes as an offer. What the landlord accepted, however, as the final form of the lease.

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          • #6
            Re: Lease Alteration

            Next time, don't sign and don't have the LL sign until you've both agreed on the terms of the lease, and don't do it until you can BOTH sign in each other's presence AND get a copy of the lease that both parties have signed.

            YOU offered changes to the lease and then signed. The problem was that the LL didn't agree to those changes, swapped out the pages you modified with the original lease pages without the modifications, and signed themselves. And, as has been stated, you didn't even bother to take offense to the lease until you'd ratified it for several months by paying rent.

            If you want to get out of the lease, you can, but you'll have to incur the penalty that comes with that decision. The LL can hold you liable for the unpaid rent until the lease expires, or until a new tenant can be found to replace you, whichever occurs first. While MOST states do require a LL to mitigate their losses by making reasonable efforts to re-rent as soon as is practically possible, not all do. So, the question here is, why do you want to get out the lease now, and why are you looking for an excuse to get out of it without penalty?
            "If it ain't in writing, it never happened."
            "A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."
            "You can never make the same mistake twice, because the second time you make it, it's not a mistake, but a CHOICE."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lease Alteration

              What took place 15 months ago (September, 2012) didn't appear to bother you until now. What makes you believe you can out of your lease without the risk of a financial penalty based on this reason?

              Gail

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              • #8
                Re: Lease Alteration

                Thanks for all the help. I didn't bring it up at the time because I didn't want to hold up the process any longer. It is a 5 year lease. Since then they leased the unit next door to us to a boxing exercise business. For the last 6 months we have been battling with the loud noise associated with that. We have a kids toy store and it has been affecting our business. Customers continually ask about the noise, employees also. They have finally evicted them and they will be out January 1st. Then a week before Christmas we come in to find a water main break under our store which they had to jack hammer to and we had over 1000 gallons of water. The insurance company wanted us to shut down and get things fixed right away, but we got them to hold off till after Christmas. We only had access to half the store and 2/3rds of inventory for that week. Then we closed on Dec 26th to finish the removal of flooring etc. only to find there is asbestos and now we won't get back open till sometime after January 3rd at the earliest. We've just been burned out by one thing or another and would like to close down and get out of lease, but looks like that won't happen. Thanks again for everyone's help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lease Alteration

                  Originally posted by Medcity2011 View Post
                  Thanks for all the help. I didn't bring it up at the time because I didn't want to hold up the process any longer. It is a 5 year lease. Since then they leased the unit next door to us to a boxing exercise business. For the last 6 months we have been battling with the loud noise associated with that. We have a kids toy store and it has been affecting our business. Customers continually ask about the noise, employees also. They have finally evicted them and they will be out January 1st. Then a week before Christmas we come in to find a water main break under our store which they had to jack hammer to and we had over 1000 gallons of water. The insurance company wanted us to shut down and get things fixed right away, but we got them to hold off till after Christmas. We only had access to half the store and 2/3rds of inventory for that week. Then we closed on Dec 26th to finish the removal of flooring etc. only to find there is asbestos and now we won't get back open till sometime after January 3rd at the earliest. We've just been burned out by one thing or another and would like to close down and get out of lease, but looks like that won't happen. Thanks again for everyone's help.

                  With all these other elements you did not mention in your first post, it changes the picture quite a bit. Other than the technicalities of unspecified changes to the original lease, due to defects in the building you have a business loss claim.

                  My recommendation at this point is that you consult with a real estate attorney for the potential amount at stake the landlord may be liable for may be greater than what you are looking at by just walking away from your lease.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lease Alteration

                    Originally posted by Medcity2011 View Post
                    My wife and I signed a lease in Sept of 2012. We crossed off two items on the lease, initialed where we crossed them off and sent a PDF signed copy back to the leasing agent for the landlord. We were sent back the contract signed by the landlord and the changes we made were not on it.
                    Ahhh, the hubris of tenants!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Lease Alteration

                      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                      Ahhh, the hubris of tenants!
                      Ahh, the art of negotiation in real estate. Pre printed forms are used for most leases, sometimes landlords include or lack necessary clauses the tenants need to operate their business properly. Negotiation around lease terms is common,especially in commercial real esate.


                      Ahh, the reality of the world of real estate.

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